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Ned Balme  January 18, 2016 4:29 PM

Garrick Ibbotson reiterated that team defence is the standard for the Freo backline.

Fremantle Docker Garrick Ibbotson was confident about the Freo backline, but the reliable defender acknowledged that improvement is required following the retirement of stalwart defender Luke McPharlin.
 
“We all have to improve,” Ibbotson said on Monday.
 
“Last year, we didn’t have Luke (McPharlin) and ‘Johnno’ (Michael Johnson) and Zac Dawson, but we adjusted.”
 
Ibbotson sang the praises of young defender Alex Pearce and new recruit Sam Collins, both of whom he believes can contribute at AFL level.
 
“Alex Pearce has been playing solid footy back and forward, same with Sam Collins,” he said.
 
“He (Collins) can mix it with the bigger guys, he does a lot of training with Jack Hannath, Matt Taberner and a bit with ‘Pav’ (Matthew Pavlich).”

Involvement and improvement the goal for Taberner
 
Despite the impressive displays by the younger defenders, Ibbotson reiterated that team defence is the standard for the Freo backline.
 
“We pride ourselves on not having too many one-on-ones in the defensive 50, where we can help each other out when we can.”
 
Ball movement continues to be a point of emphasis according to Ibbotson, who attributed much of this to the additions of coaches David Hale and Brent Guerra.
 
“We’ve tried to employ a few things that they’ve (Hale and Guerra) brought with them,” he said.
 
“Our skill and execution, with a little bit of change in the way we’ve been working the ball.
 
“Not trying to tweak too much, just little bits and pieces.”
 
Ibbotson was glowing in his praise for David Mundy, following his selection as captain of the Fremantle Dockers on Friday.

Mundy to lead Fremantle in 2016

 
“I wasn’t surprised that David was the captain,” he said.
 
“He’s a big body mid and he puts his body on the line as much as possible for us.
 
“He’s been a really strong leader.”